If the Hammonds were Indians so obviously targeted by the Feds … [Darleen Click] UPDATED
But people of pallor? Drone strike ’em!
The real story … prepare to be infuriated.
h/t Jeff who adds
Locke’s formulation for the free person was life, liberty, and property. Private property rights should be sacrosanct. And just because a federal agency hasn’t targeted your land for confiscation doesn’t mean you should accept its targeting of others’ – regardless of how “racist” those whose land and liberty are under assault will be made to appear.
We used to know that.
According to the 2012 sentencing document, the jury found the men innocent or were deadlocked on all but two counts – the two fires the men admitted to starting – burning a total of about 140 acres. […]
During her tenure as a full time BLM employee from 1997-1999, Maupin recalls other fires accidentally spilling over onto BLM land, but only the Hammonds have been charged, arrested and sentenced, she said. Ranchers might be burning invasive species or maybe weeds in the ditch. “They would call and the BLM would go and help put it out and it was not a big deal.”
On the flip side, Maupin remembers numerous times that BLM-lit fires jumped to private land. Neighbors lost significant numbers of cattle in more than one BLM fire that escaped intended containment lines and quickly swallowed up large amounts of private land. To her knowledge, no ranchers have been compensated for lost livestock or other loss of property such as fences.
Gary Miller, who ranches near Frenchglen, about 35 miles from the Hammonds’ hometown, said that in 2012, the BLM lit numerous backfires that ended up burning his private land, BLM permit and killing about 65 cows.
A YouTube video named BLM Working at Burning Frenchglen-July 10, 2012 shows “back burn” fires allegedly lit by BLM personnel that are upwind of the main fire, including around Gary Miller’s corrals. The fire that appeared ready to die down several times, eventually burned around 160,000 acres, Miller said.
Bill Wilber, a Harney County rancher, said five lightening strikes on July 13, 2014, merged to create a fire on Bartlett Mountain. The fire flew through his private ground, burned a BLM allotment and killed 39 cows and calves.
While the fire could have been contained and stopped, BLM restrictions prevent local firefighting efforts like building a fireline, so only after taking in 397,000 acres did the fire finally stop when it came up against a series of roads.
The issue isn’t limited to Oregon. In 2013, two South Dakota prescribed burns started by the U.S. Forest Service–over the objections of area landowners– blew out of control, burning thousands of acres of federal and private land. Ranchers that suffered property damage from the Pautre fire in Perkins County, South Dakota filed extensive tort claims in accordance with federal requirements, but will receive no compensation because USDA found the U.S. Forest Service not responsible for that fire. .
Why the Hammonds?
“The story is like an onion, you just keep peeling back the layers,” Maupin said. […]
“The last holdouts on that cow-free wilderness are the Hammonds,” said Maupin. Though some still have BLM grazing permits, the Hammonds are the last private landowners in the area.
“It’s become more and more obvious over the years that the BLM and the wildlife refuge want that ranch. It would tie in with what they have,” said Rusty Inglis, an area rancher and retired U.S. Forest Service employee.
The Hammonds also lost their ability to water cattle on one BLM permit when refuge personnel drained a watering hole that the Hammonds had always used.
Maupin said the government scientists and resource managers working “on the ground” supported the Hammonds’ use of the water but that the high level bureaucrats backed special interest anti-grazing groups. “There is a huge disconnect between employees on the ground and the decision-makers.” She said that divide builds tension between ranchers and federal agencies.
It’s not a disconnect … for the Feds, all property are belong us.